Although there are still lots of open water fishing opportunities available, many anglers have put the boat and open water gear into storage. Now is when we should be getting the ice-fishing gear out of storage. The following are some ideas for preparing for the ice-fishing season.
First, start with the gear you already have. Get the auger out and make sure it starts. Modern ice augers are amazing tools. They are
used in brutal conditions, but they are very reliable. Nonetheless, if it isn’t going to start, it’s better to find out now than when you get on the ice.
Make sure the blades are sharp. If you had trouble getting through the ice last year, and if you didn’t sharpen or replace the blades then, they sure aren’t going to be sharper now.
If you have a portable shelter, erect it and air it out. Make sure mice haven’t found that Slim Jim or Beef Jerky that you forgot in the shelter when you stored it after your last ice-fishing trip. If some parts are missing, get them replaced now. We want to be ready
to hit the ice as soon as it’s safe.
Give your ice-fishing clothing a quick going over. Make sure it still fits. You might discover that some of your ice-fishing stuff shrunk over the summer. Funny how that happens: It fit when you put it away six months ago, now it’s too small.
Maybe this is the year you start introducing a youngster to ice-fishing and need more room in the shelter, or maybe it’s time for you to treat yourself to a new shelter with modern features. Make sure your knees aren’t at nose-level when you sit, check zippers on the doors for ease of operation, just spend some time determining which shelter best fits
Ice-fishing season is closing in. You’ll enjoy your ice-fishing more if you’re ready to go when it’s time to do so.
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